Ashtar is a Black Sludge Doom Metal duo formed in 2012 in Basel, Switzerland by members of the doom bands Phased (Lehtinen) and shEver (Witch N.). The band released their debut album “Ilmasaari” on June 8th 2015 via Czar of Crickets Productions label. The album was recorded between December 2013 and April 2014 at OSA Crypt in Greifensee, Switzerland. It has been mixed and mastered by Greg Chandler (Esoteric, Lychgate) at Priory Recording Studios in Birmingham, UK.
This material is an intense hybrid of distorted down-tuned riffing, heavy bass and sick vocals with eerie-saturnine melodies. The lyrics are telling us about abyss and beauty, melancholy and chaos, presenting the discrepancy between life and death.
“Ilmasaari” has a total of 46 Minutes of playtime with long luridly tracks played in the specific sludge/doom-ish way. The band chose the first track to have French lyrics, while the rest of the album has been written in English; the reason might have been to have more access to the public. The sick female vocal drags the listener in a dark/hypnotic atmosphere, disenchanting and creating a sort of repetitive/esoteric/occult ambiance.
For a first release the band did a perfect job, benefiting from a great production and having good quality sound engineering. The beautiful cover also helps to create the cosmic transcendental vision of these artists. Please check this marvelous creation, you surly will not regret it. Recommended for Bölzer, The Ruins of Beverast or Malthusian fans.